The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority released its performance figures today claiming an increase in the figures, however, like all things in life the devil is always in the detail.
Whilst the overall performance figures seem to have improved, the technical and complex agvet product application timeframes continue to decline.
Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) remain concerned about the number of major assessments which are not meeting the statutory timeframes for consideration. The number of completions for this type of application has actually decreased by five per cent from the previous quarter.
AMA further stated that It is critical for the health of Australian animals that veterinary medicines be assessed by the independent regulator through a timely and efficient process. Our veterinarians and pet owners need access to these products to maintain and improve animal health.
Barnaby Joyces handpicked CEO, Dr Parker has recently acknowledged that he has had to maintain an office in Canberra made up of highly qualified scientists, risk managers and decision-makers (who are refusing to relocate to Armidale) to maintain the performance of the organisation. This is a statutory responsibility of the CEO position. It is also important to note that the majority of the APVMA staff have not relocated to Armidale and that without the critical Canberra office, there is no way this expensive pork-barrel would work.
The fact is the ill-thought through decentralisation pork-barrel by the former Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is failing. This failure will impact Australias agriculture sectors as they will find it more difficult to access modern agvet products.
David Littleproud must do the right thing and make it a priority to ensure the APVMA is able to undertake its core responsibility of regulating crop protection and veterinary medicine products. Rather than kowtowing to the want-to-be again Nationals Leader, Barnaby Joyce.